Thursday, May 27, 2010

photos to share...

So here's the prayer shawl I mentioned in yesterday's post. It is so warm and comfy and is nice to wear around my shoulders and can stretch it out down my legs if I want to warm them up. The colors are muted and the yarn is so soft. Just wanted to show it off...the ladies worked hard on it! And the prayers were so welcome.

The following shots are from my yard. I am always trying to work on my photography, and with no babies to shoot and some uncooperative dogs, I tend to shoot plants. (The doggies DO NOT like it when I put the camera in front of my face.) So anyway, I came home the other day and it had just finished raining, so I grabbed my camera and walked around the yard.

This little vine was growing off some plant. I'm so into my plants, can't you tell? I have no idea what they are.

This is part of our sky pencil, complete with spider web. The sky pencil normally has dark leaves, but the buds are such a yellowy-green.

My hydrangea is blooming!!! We bought this plant last year when our social worker came to visit, because I had nothing in my front yard planters. And we picked PINK, cause the baby was a girl, but I'm glad that they bloomed again this year. I am so proud that they lived through the winter.

And I do love the picture. It should be said that I don't really edit my photos much. I know that many people do a lot with computer editing, and sometimes I play with them, but I think much of the skill comes in taking the photography to begin with. Equipment plays into it a lot, and so does knowing how to work your camera. I'm still learning, and I think I'm going to spend time with a professional photographer this summer. I offered myself up as an apprentice to a parent at the school where I work, and she said YES. Very excited.

Okay, not much else to report. Talk later!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

random things

I am so ready to wear these! Vacation is coming and I am so excited to be getting some time off. Now, granted, I did take on that part-time job, but I'm excited about that, too. A little extra cash for our adoption account and a some luxuries, like a massage. And a pedicure. And a night out.

Okay, time to admit some more nerdiness on my part. I loved Iron Man! My husband and I went to see the first one two summers ago and then had a date night the other night. I loved the movie. Charlie said he thought it was okay, but I had so much fun. There were a couple of parts where I cheered and grinned and clapped. So much fun. Don't know why I loved it and others thought it was only okay, but I did. I even told my mom I would take her and I would see it again.

I am currently curled up with a prayer shawl. The Knit Together group at my church makes them for new babies, people in the hospital, and people going through a hard time. While they are knitting, they pray for the person. Two years ago when we were going through our few infertility meds and I was about to lose my job, they made one for me. It was very sweet and I was touched and I cried when they gave it to me. I dug it out again recently, knowing those prayers are still woven in there somehow.

I painted my nails the other night and I have already taken the polish off. It chips too easily.

I started watching the Bachelorette the other night. Man, some of those men should be embarrassed. This season looks like it will be really dramatic, as they all are.

Oh, I have a pet peeve to share about blogs (and I don't mean to offend.) It bothers me when I click over to the blog and can't see the post title without scrolling down. Meaning, your header is so large that I can't immediately start reading. I don't want to have to scroll down. Busy patterns in the back are bad, too. I was one one the other day that was soooo busy I couldn't read the post and had to get off. It was sad too, because I was really interested in the topic, but I couldn't get past the pattern. Do YOU have blog pet peeves? I mean, it's only my opinion, so I'd love to hear what other people think.

Is that enough random for you?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

how to trust

Sometimes on Sundays, I experience an emotional confusion of sorts. Church is so wonderful and so healing to my soul, with our worship time being my favorite part some mornings. But I often find myself praising God and pleading my case at the same time, asking him to see me in my pain. Asking him for a baby, asking him not to forget me. Other times I just want to praise him, put myself completely in the center of his will. It's a war between my selfishness and my soul.

Our pastor was talking today about trusting God. His point was that when we don't tithe, we aren't trusting God with our finances and our well being. He wanted to point out that it is in the hardest times (financially) that we need to trust God the most. The point also hit close to home for me, as these past few weeks have been hard for me, and I want to trust him. I want to believe that an adoption will happen, but I have no experience to back it up. God has never given me a child before, so I don't know what it looks like to trust him for that. But I shouldn't have to know, right? I should be able to trust him completely.

After church I had a conversation with a friend about the waiting, and how difficult it had been for me. She was encouraging me that those thoughts aren't from God, that I was letting doubt creep into my heart. She prayed for me, asking God to show me how to put my thoughts into his hands. I cried, of course. I always cry when someone prays for me, it's such an emotional release.

So, along with JellyBelly and others who have found themselves in this valley of despair, I too, need to pray for trust. While I do need to honestly convey to God where my heart is, and the desperation I feel, I need to find a way to trust him. He sees me where I am. Just like the new trees we planted in the backyard last week, I need to be watered and fed so I can blossom. I need to put in the work to be able to grow in him. I want to blossom in his love and his perfect will.

So my prayer today is that I would feel the peace that comes with trusting my Lord. Pray that with me, would you?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

life goes on

Well, that was an exciting couple of days, that ultimately ended in nothing. Charlie and I were talking again about how this is such a rollercoaster, and I believe we are right about that. My emotions went from high on the possibility of a match and a baby, to the reality of the cost, to the disappointment of the choice not to proceed. All in one day. Highs and lows.

For all of us, I wish this were easier. This whole process is draining and emotional and more than we ever bargained for, really. Last year, before the adoption fell apart, I was so cocky that it had only taken us 6 months to adopt. We weren't going to be one of those couples that had to wait years for a baby. Look how wrong I was. It's been over a year since our match and this was the first real thing that has come along, only to fall apart again.

I do want to take a moment and thank all of you for your prayers and support the other day. I appreciate it very much that you were all there for me.

There isn't much more to say. Today I am getting my house cleaned up a little and grocery shopping and all those mundane things that we have to do to get through the day. Life goes on.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

situation madness ***updated

Possible, but long-shot, adoption situation came in today. This, of course, after I prayed this morning "Lord, bring us a baby soon." Ha.

Pray. Pray that the money is right and the details are good and all of it won't make me crazy. Pray that if we are the right people, they will choose us.

Pray for me, that I won't lose my mind.

Send up those prayers, please.


Update (8pm) Well, it was over almost as quickly as it started. The situation fit us in so many ways, but ultimately was too much of a risk on the financial end. We would have had to put out almost $15,000 up front, to only be able to get $7400 back if the birth parents changed their minds. We just don't have that much money to put into the whole thing and possibly lose it. With our current agency, we pay when we take custody of the child after the revocation period, so nothing is lost. This was through a facilitator that I keep up with, and looked great until we read the fine print.

I am sad. Of course. It seemed like such excellent timing, especially in light of my prayer this morning.

We ate Chinese tonight and my fortune said "sometimes the solution comes from where you least expect it." Interesting.

So anyway, thanks for all the prayers you sent up on our behalf. If you don't mind to keep praying with me that a match we can afford will come soon, I'd appreciate it.

Love you!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

wanting to be wanted

It has been an odd couple of weeks, weeks that have been up and down emotion wise. Getting through Mother's Day was a big step, with all the emotions that it brought. There isn't really anything going on with our adoption front, although there is a ton going on around the blogosphere in regards to pregnancies and adoptions. It has been tough around school as well with EOG testing and the rocky road of my friend's mother's death. We are all just getting back to normal about that and I want some peace. Just about this time of year, I begin to crave quiet.

Puppy Chester came to visit and was adorable, but that's not really what this post is about. And doesn't my engagement ring look big in this photo?

I love it that summer comes and gives me a break. Teachers really do need a break from their students and I use that time to relax and get ready for another year. Some teachers spend most of their summers at school, planning and decorating, but that just isn't me. I like summertime. I like this job that has eight weeks of vacation, low paying though it might be.

And then I got a call today. My old boss at Michaels Arts and Crafts wants me to come back for the summer and fill in for an employee! How much fun is it to be wanted and personally asked to come back? I was thrilled. It's a job I already know, with people I like, where I can make a little money for the adoption or something. Yes! Awesome. It was the best feeling to be get that call and be wanted.

We all want that, right?

There are many ways we want to be wanted. We want our spouses to want us, we want our friends to want us, I want a birthmother to want us. Arrrghgh. It is a feeling deep inside. We need to be love and accepted. I wish I could let go and just be okay with people not asking me to join them or leave me behind. There are people at my current job that I wish saw more of who I am, but they don't. And I guess I have to adjust my perspective.

We had someone at church refer us to an adoption agency I'd never heard of, out in California. I went to the website, and all I found was some vague answers and lots of parent profiles. There was no fee information and the process info was detailed, but didn't answer what I wanted to know. They say their matches occur generally in less than 12 months, and offer to let you talk to parents of successful matches. I emailed the contact thing to ask a few questions and got a sort of carbon response. The fees were $25,000-35,000. Whoa. The woman said she was going to send me a packet and hopefully the answers would be in there. We'll see.

Anyway, back to the job offer, it was nice to hear a friendly voice and know that someone was thrilled I would be spending my summer with them. Liked the feeling.

Okay, tired brain. Gotta sleep now. Had too much caffeine yesterday and was up way to late.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

something to make me smile

This is one of my favorite little girls at school. Her mom comes in and helps me out on occasion and Morgan loves to write on my board while her mom volunteers. She wrote me this note the other day, and I had my camera so I quickly got it out and snapped a picture. This doesn't even really reflect how adorable she is, and every time I see her she gives me the biggest hug.

One time she told me, "Mrs. K, I am in love with you." Which was so funny because she didn't know why the phrasing was wrong. So sweet.

I told her mother that if she ever goes missing the search should start with me, cause I might just take her home one day. She is so polite and very respectful, and loves to read.

Just wanted to share something that made me smile!

Friday, May 14, 2010

need a replacement?

Have you ever been to Replacements? Or heard of Replacements? Oh my. It is the most fun place, if you like dishes. My Aunt Sylvie was in town and my mom and I took her out there to see the showroom and get some china. I wanted to take the tour again, because I finally thought to bring my camera along.

Replacements is a company that buys and sells china, crystal, silver and other dishes. Some are antique and rare, others are not. They buy from manufacturers, stores and people like us. You can take your old china to them and sell it, then they will resell it to someone who wants it. My aunt had a teacup and saucer that she was looking for to go with a set she already owned. Seems she had broken the cup and needed to replace it, hence the name. It's just a great store if you only need to buy one plate, or one bowl. You can call them or look them up on the internet, too. (Don't I sound like a commercial? But it's just a fun idea.)

The tour is amazing, because they take you into the stockroom. It is four football fields big and has shelves that go up 15 feet, stocked to the brim with dishes.

Everything is organized and tagged. It is kind of overwhelming, but really neat to see. I think I have taken the tour every time I've gone there, because they move things around and add things and change things.

They also have new items, like this Waterford Crystal chandelier. I think it costs something like $4,000, but you can put it on layaway!

As you know, I do love some sparkle! If I had a room grand enough for this chandelier, it would be mine!

I just thought this plate was pretty. Almost too pretty to eat on!

If you ever get a chance to visit Greensboro, NC, you can visit Replacements. My mom, aunt and I spent over two hours in there and had a great time looking at all the different things they stock. They even had some really need Christmas ornaments. Oh, and they allow well-behaved pets in their showroom, although my dogs would wag their tails and break things!

And, once I get it finished, I'll show you what I bought. I had a little project to do with what I bought, but I think it will turn out really cool as a dining room decoration.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


This week has been emotionally draining, in so many ways. EOGs have really zapped my energy, Mother's Day was something to try and get through, and well, isn't that enough. I'm so tired of dealing with my emotions, of sorting through them and trying to get past them.

So, yawn, I am thankful that school is almost out. Last year at this time I was dealing with the emotional fallout of the failed adoption, and I was looking forward to just resting and healing. This summer I think I need some peace. I learned that I really crave alone time, and summer really provides me time to recharge and rest. I'm looking forward to the time off.

I came home tonight from a really fun dinner and didn't know what I wanted to do. Did I want to go to bed, watch tv, or cuddle with my husband? I didn't know, because my head was so full of the emotional kind of talk that you can only have with women friends. There were so many thoughts and feelings bouncing around in my head that I had to get on the computer and veg. And then I saw the cute picture of Lucy and knew you could probably relate to being emotionally tired.

On another note, I posted about the new Quota thing at work that was suddenly removed today. Now I can blog again at school! Yay! I may not spend as much time on it as I would normally, but I'll still be able to pop around and check on you.

Off to bed, with some advil and my stuffed bear. It's a teddy bear night.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

the tech police

This week has been state testing week at my school, and since I am not a classroom teacher I am testing special education students that require extra time. I am also in charge of the overflow room for students who are taking longer than their class. The state allots four hours for each test, with several breaks in between. If they test long enough, then they can stop for lunch and then come back.

On Tuesday I tested until 2:21.

Today I tested until 2:27.

School lets out at 3:15, mind you.

It has been two long days of quiet in the library. I have been sitting, walking around, sitting, walking around. I am getting lots of reading done, which is a good thing.

Tomorrow is another day of testing, and I know I will spend more quiet hours with these kids. To tell you the truth, I kind of like all the quiet. When I do talk to the other teacher, we're whispering, but I when I finished and walked to the office, I kept whispering! It was pretty funny.

Oh, also, just to let you know, if you haven't seen me much around the blogs, it's because my job just installed a Quota Timer on all blogsites. If I want to go to my blog, I am timed. We get 60 minutes per week on sites they want to block. It makes me a little nervous, to be honest, because I don't want them actually timing how much time I take with blogging at work. I sit at my computer ALL DAY, cause I have to check out books, and I used to have my blog as one of the tabs and would check on it between classes. Now I am paranoid about the whole thing, because if they are timing us, I don't want some report to pop up, itemizing my use of time. I mean, there are 7,000 employees, so I don't think they are keeping track of all of us, but you never know. Ugh. And I don't really think I want to complain about it, do you? I can just imagine if I emailed the tech support people and asked for the blogging site to be unlocked and then they asked me what educational value it has for my class. Ha. It helps their teacher stay sane?

So, I am only using a little bit of time at school, and not everyday. I will have to blog at home from now on, which means I may not get to devote the time I would like to to read your posts and comment. If you think there is something I really need to know and know NOW, email me. That I can still do at school.

Sooooo...that's the update from this end. No adoption situations on the horizon, but lots of babies around the blogosphere to enjoy. You new mommies just need to remember to post for all of us living vicariously through you!


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

the skies are gray

Last week I asked for prayers for a friend who had lost her mother. This situation has profoundly affected my weekend, digging up a mix of emotions from my own life. If you have lost a parent, then you might identify with these emotions, and if you haven't, it's hard to explain.

My dad died when I was a junior in college, after being diagnosed with leukemia my freshman year. My parents lived in Florida and I was in North Carolina for college, and I went home for a total of five days to bury my father. Quickly, it was back to school, to real life, to papers and tests and finals. I was grieving, but it was pushed to the background. There was so much to get done.

But I got to say goodbye to my father, albeit over the phone. We said what we needed to and I didn't come home until he was gone. That was our deal. But my friend B was totally blindsided by this death. Her mother was there and then she was gone. It was sudden, horrible, painful and real.

But really, I'm not posting about that so much. What I want to tell you about it the way it feels to lose a parent. It has taken me so long to be able to put it into words, how it felt to say goodbye to my father. I've long been able to tell stories about who he was, what he meant to me, or the things he taught me, but how it FEELS in reality is something different. It feels like you've suddenly been released from the bonds of gravity, like you've lost an anchor. I felt untethered, ungrounded, floundering in who I was. Who was I without a dad? I didn't know, really.

There's an old episode of Gray's Anatomy that I identify with, where George's father dies. Cristina goes out to him and tells him about the day that her father died, and that there's a "Dead Dad Club" and you can't get in until you can get in. And she's sorry that he had to join the club. He tells her that he doesn't really know how to exist in a world where his dad doesn't, and she says, "Yeah, that never really changes." It completely sums up how it feels. How can we really go on when the people who have taught us everything aren't there anymore? It's life-changing.

Life-changing. In so many ways.

Losing my dad put me in the minority in my dorm. People just couldn't relate to what was going on in my heart, to what I was experiencing. And I just knew I was sad, sad all the time. Sad even when I was asleep. The dreams were intense.

All I could tell people was that I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy, and yet it is something that every person will go through. There is nothing you can do to avoid it, get out of it, or get through it easier. The sad thing is that you will all know this pain at some point in your life, if you haven't been there already.

There are times that I still dream of my dad. Once, relatively recently, I woke up thinking it was true and then was heartbroken when I realized it was only a dream. It surprised me, since it's been 13 years since he died and mostly I live my life not thinking about him. I mean, I do, but I don't dwell on it and grieve daily.

There are times when I wish he were hear to offer me advice. I wish he'd been at my college graduation, at my wedding, and I wish he'd met my husband. I wish he could fix my car, train my dog, and adjust my neck. I wish he could fold me into his lap and make all my sadness go away, like he did when I was five. I wish he could meet my eventual children.

So, here in my world, the skies are gray right now. I think about my friend, who is just beginning on this journey, and how much I know these next few years will be painful. I'm so sorry for her, and for any of you out there who have been there recently. It's not easy.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

three colors...

So when we first remodeled the kitchen I painted it this lovely red. I had always wanted a red kitchen, and so I chose this color. I liked it, but it just wasn't me. I like bright colors, but I was ready for a change and a little redecoration magic.

I used Behr's new Paint & Primer in One, to cover the red, and it almost covered in one coat! I only put two on to even everything out, but I chose the wrong color. I went with a color called Comfort Gray, which is a muted blue green, with a lot of gray. It looked good everywhere I saw it, but in my house, in my light, against my dark trim? Nope. Not at all. It looked like the primer.

It did pick up the gray color in our granite and was very calming, just not spa-like at all. Just gray and it honestly looked unfinished. It looked like I hadn't put the color on top of it.

Here it is again. I peeled the tape off just in case the tape was making it look more blueish, but the wood trim created too much contrast.

So I had half a gallon of paint left, so I went back to Home Depot and got a quart of a dark green, then hunted in my attic for some leftover colors from other rooms. I mixed the paint with some other colors and tried each shade in a little square on the wall, then chose one. I ended up with this pear green color, which I like so much better.

In the above photo it looks a little more yellow than it really is, but I wanted to show the pot rack. It used to be green, but I spray painted it white.

Lucy wanted to show you the real color. It is a great color that I made all by myself (ha.) Keep in mind, too, that this all happened in one weekend. I painted the first color on Saturday and then painted again on Sunday. I figured while I had all the stuff taken down and all the painting things out, I should get it done. I like that the kitchen doesn't seem so dark during the day, and the color isn't as intense as the red. Much more calming.

Okay, that's my kitchen story for you.

Friday, May 7, 2010

prayer request

I know Mother's Day may not be easy for many of us still waiting to become Moms. I know it won't. But I want to ask for prayers for a friend of mine who's own Mom passed away unexpectedly and suddenly today. As we speak she is flying home, shocked and saddened at this turn of events.

I can't even imagine.

Here I am selfishly thinking how hard this day will be for me, after last year and how our adoption fell apart days after Mother's Day, and this happens to her. Please lift her and her family up this weekend.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

the green eyed monster

The green eyed monster got me today. In a big way. Whoa.

I've said before that I usually do very well being around babies and seeing pregnant women. Today it was harder. I think I'm a little hormonal as well, but it was a hard morning. There isn't any cure, is there?

While I was cuddled up on my couch with the DH later (having a good cry) I was sharing that I wasn't angry that all these women at my church have babies, I am just jealous. I want to be part of it. Feeling left behind isn't my favorite emotion. Normally I would figure out what I need to do to get past this feeling, but in this situation I don't know what will lift the funk.

And then my lunch didn't taste good. Something was off with the chicken I made in a way I can't describe. I have made the same recipe over and over and it normally tastes great, but today it just wasn't right. The chicken was fine, but the sauce I made tasted weird. Even Charlie said that he couldn't figure out what the problem was. So my lunch was just not satisfying.

So I'm having a little HGTV therapy and cuddling with the puppies. I know we are already praying for each other, but I could use a few extra prayers thrown up with my name on them. Would you agree with me:

  • That God will ease my sorrow and longing.
  • That He will completely erase the jealousy. That does not come from above.
  • That He will get me through Mother's Day without any more breakdowns.
  • That He will continue to prepare us for parenthood.
I would love to pray that He would bring us a baby SOON, but that seems to be a little much to ask. I know that He is capable of everything, and I want to trust that He knows my wants and needs and desires. Help us to trust more.

Bye bye, green eyed monster.